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Are Your Salespeople Providing a Reason to be Hired?

All human beings are entrepreneurs. When were in caves, we were all self- employed... finding our food, feeding ourselves. That's where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became "labor" because they stamped us, "You are labor." We forgot that we are entrepreneurs. - Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pioneer

In the start-up of YOU, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha share how you can accelerate your career in today's fiercely competitive, hyper-connected business world. What stands out in this book is the following statement,

"The key is manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.




As important as the earnings, a career also brings a source of pride and identity. Manage your career like your most important asset, not only will you maximize your financial return, but you will also achieve greater lifetime satisfaction.

Leaders Coach and Guide

Healthy corporate culture always starts at the top. A culture of investing in people, your employees will pay dividends. Invest in your people and help them manage their careers as you would your financial assets. Use the help of trusted advisors, your management staff and this strategy will pay long term dividends.

In the start-up of You, Start-ups and the entrepreneurs who run them are quite nimble. Entrepreneurs invest in themselves. They feverishly construct their professional networks. Often times they may take intelligent risks and block out all associated fear all in the name of betterment. 

These are some of the same attributes sales professionals need in order to get and stay ahead in today's highly competitive, networked business world.

So this had me thinking...

Time and time again in sales meetings, sales professionals are being told, "Run your sales territory as if it was your business. You are the CEO now go out there and make it happen!"

I am going to ask you all to stop and think about one word for a moment... 

As the CEO of your own business would you allow your company to operate without any web presence? Of course you wouldn't. Your corporate website is the window into your business portraying your brand in a business professional manner out into the community.

If you are encouraging your sales reps to be the CEO's of their own territory and you know how important your corporate website is to your brand then why on earth would you allow your sales reps to operate their business with incomplete, non-branding LinkedIn profiles? 

Immediate Action Item

I am going ask you all to open up your Google spyglass. Place yourself in your client's shoes or for that manner a prospect's shoes. Based on your first impression of their LinkedIn profiles or for that matter any aspect of their digital footprint would you hire and bring them into your company? Tough isn't it? 

The process of vetting out sales professionals based upon their digital first impression is alive and well. If you don't agree then I urge you to go face-to-face with some of your current clients and ask them what they think. Share with them your sales team's LinkedIn profiles and solicit their feedback. One word, ALARMING!

So lets all take a stroll down to the intersection of perception versus reality. When you get to this intersection, I am going to ask you to look both ways and ask yourself the following:

Five thought provoking internal questions to ask yourself

1. Does their headline statement promote how they can help solve business problems or challenges their clients or prospects might have? 

2. Does their summary section state the value they can bring to their clients or prospects? 

3. Does their experience section promote or add differentiation to how they serve their clients?

4. Does their entire LinkedIn profile promote value or trust to their clients or prospects?

5. Does their LinkedIn profile eliminate any risk factors associated with doing business with them?

I am quite confident as a business leader you can recite your corporate vision, mission, purpose, plan and goals for 2016.

With this in mind, I encourage you to coach and lead your sales team; guide them to create their professional brand by helping them build their credibility, trust and value through their website; their LinkedIn profile. 

Step 1

Vision - Guide and encourage them to share their story told throughout their LinkedIn profile

Step 2

Mission - Share with them the main objective of having a LinkedIn profile

Step 3

Purpose - Share with them the function their LinkedIn profile will provide in helping to build their professional brand

Step 4

Plan - Provide them the roadmap on how to construct their LinkedIn profile

If you would like some assistance please send me an email to The Sales Manager's Guide to LinkedIn may help.

Step 5

Goals - Share with them how they can integrate LinkedIn into their sales process to help grow their business. They are the CEO of their own business, correct?

Reid Hoffman in his book The Alliance speaks to as a business executive and manager you want your employees to help transform the company for the future. In addition, your employees want the company to help transform their careers for the long term. However, this win-win scenario will happen only if both sides trust each other enough to commit to mutual investment and mutual benefit.

One of the frequent discussions against investing in professional development

"What happens if I train my people and they leave? A better question is what happens if you don't train them and they stay?"

Your salespeople are front and center, the face of your corporation. You can help by fostering a sales environment full of skill set development, mindset building, self-development as well as a growth minded atmosphere. Provide to them the tools necessary to perform at their highest level.

Help your salespeople to create their professional brand. Think of their online and offline reputation in the same manner you think about your businesses brand. When a prospect is considering a purchase, the reputation of your sales team for delivering value and their social proof is mission critical.

"There is no professional or personal anymore. There's simply your brand. Everything you do affects your brand, and it's up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively. That's it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong." Peter Shankman

If you enjoyed this post please share your comments. Lets connect and start a conversation.

If you enjoyed reading please check out more at the Social Sales Academy blog site.

Please enjoy my other posts on LinkedIn Publisher and on SlideShare

I enjoy sharing my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform and coach copier sales professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help independent office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy 


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